Why Are People Cruel?
(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada and young devotee)

Guest: Why are people cruel? Why do they persecute other human beings and torture them? How is it they are able to do this?

Prabhupāda: Because he is not in his normal condition. Under the dictation of māyā, he is thinking, "This is my enemy; this is my friend," and he's acting like that. But when he becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, then he becomes learned. There is no more enemy; everyone is friend. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām (BG 18.54). That is the highest stage of life.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Melbourne, April 22, 1976)
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